Dec 30, 2011

Arizona Hiking

The hubby, biff, and I went hiking 2 days in a row. We're pretty hardcore. We just love the views from the top and along the way! :)

Dec 28, 2011

Holiday Recipes

My weekend, as I'm sure yours all did, entailed food galore! Here's two recipes i made. One I got from my aunt who's an amazing cook and the other from my best friend who's also the dessert queen. For anyone who knows me on a personal level can testify how far from a cook I am. However, I'm on a new kick with cooking and have enjoyed it thus far. I've always loved food, I just never learned how to make food...just how to order it. :) So any recipes I share, you KNOW will be simple and do-able for beginners.

Pumpkin Pie Cake
Our last Sunday dinner in Idaho, my wondeful aunt had us over for dinner and this was the dessert she made. I fell in LOVE beause it had pumpkin (delish) and yellow cake (yum). Put the two together and it's a hit. Plus, it gives the whole pumpkin pie a new twist.

My biff came over the other day and shared a single turtle she made for her family with me. It had the salty-sweet combination going on and I HAD to copy her. What else are best friends for?

Pumpkin Pie Cake Ingredients

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup margarine, melted
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease one 9x13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Mix well, and spread into the prepared pan.
  3. Sprinkle cake mix over the top of the pumpkin mixture, and pat down. Sprinkle chopped pecans evenly over the cake mix, then drizzle with melted margarine.
  4. Bake for 60 to 80 minutes, or until done. Top with whipped topping when ready to serve.
Turtles Ingredients
  • Pretzels
  • Rolos (or chocolate caramel kisses)
  • Whole pecans
1. Heat oven to 200 degrees.
2. Place pretzels over parchment paper with rolos on top (removed from foil duh!)
3. Bake 5-10 minutes until chocolates get soft
4. Remove from oven and use a whole pecan to push chocolate down. Cool completely before devouring. :)

Dec 26, 2011

Christmas Time

 Is it true that boys turn everything into a competition? At least my husband and little brother do. And with gingerbread houses? Sigh. They were concentrating so hard they couldn't even look up and smile. boys.
 Favorite holiday tradition: We all get new pajamas on Christmas Eve, pile up in the car, and drive around to see the lights drinking our hot chocolate. Except this year, with grandma in town, there was not enough room in the truck. So my mom and I got our lawn chairs in the bed of the truck and enjoyed the view from the back. I know it's not Idaho, but it was still chilly. We stopped at the gas station to get our hot chocolate and Ryan had to take a picture of my hair... yes, it's the wind-blown look. :)
 Salvation Army on Christmas Day. Doesn't my husband look good in an apron AND happy to be there? Not like the blonde lady above. She doesn't look like she enjoyed herself. Hopefully she was just holding it in. Ha.
We hope everyone enjoyed being with family for the holidays and the memories that were created!

food for thought #3

live simply.expect little.
give much.
love extravagantly.
how straight to the point is this message. Especially during the holiday season but more importantly, life in general. I am an expert at making situations more complicated than what they need to be. The more I have the more stress I have... so i will expect little and give more to others because in doing so, I will have simple and extravagant happiness. Happy Monday Everyone!

Dec 24, 2011

Merry days

It's really hard to feel like it's Christmas when you're in Arizona with sunny days. I will not complain though. I love it like this. I have all the people i need here. My husband, my parents, my brothers, and grandma Tina. This weekend has been super with eating, visiting, shopping, cooking, eating, games, and eating...and more eating. My little brother, the videographer, is making a video of all of us. He interviewed us all asking us our favorite part of Christmas. We'll be watching the final production tomorrow morning. :) cant wait!

Happy holidays everyone! Have a great weekend!! And enjoy the blessings in your life.

Dec 22, 2011

Phoenix Art Museum

Today the family and I went to the Phoenix Art Museum. I was born and raised in Phoenix but there are many places here that I've never been to or visited and the Phoenix Art Museum is one of them (shamefully, the Grand Canyon is another). Ryan and I had quite the experience because we were both scolded twice by the staff. Within the first few minutes I was getting in trouble for taking pictures in one of the exhibits where photos were prohibited. Oops. Then, a tour guide was in the middle of discussing a piece with her group when she yelled over to Ryan, "Excuse me, please do not touch the artwork." Yes, Ryan was touching the artwork and she didn't hesitate to scold him for it.

I really admire artists who are so creative and create a piece that you just stare at and think to yourself, wow, that's beautiful. I would L O V E to have their talent. I'm still trying to find my talents in life and painting must not be one of them. I dabbled in water colors  for awhile and my paintings looked like children's school art compared to theirs. Although to be perfectly honest, there are pieces where I have NO IDEA what they were thinking. That's the thing with "art" though. You can say anything is art. I can glue a bunch of yarn and scrap metal to a cardboard box and say it's art and charge hundreds of dollars for it. Either way, we had fun interpreting art when we weren't getting in trouble. :)

Dec 20, 2011

vintage az christmas

We arrived in az last night, or actually this morning at 3am. I didn't think either one of us would be able to get up this morning, but we got up at a descent hour 10am. not bad right?
Today we are slowly recovering from lack of sleep and driving all day, but it's great to be with family in our cozy decorative home. This year we're doing stocking stuffers for gifts because of our family trip planned. However, my mom has decorated our house to the T. Garland, vintage ornaments and lights are all over the house. I love seeing the cool things my mom finds at her thrift stores... I just hope one day all her vintage belongings are passed on to me.
Ryan and I have always been home for the holidays or moving from one place to another. So having our own place to decorate has been impossible or inconvenient. This is what I want to fill our home with. Am I a sucker for vintage? Well, I am my mother's daughter aren't i? (really... ..i am right?)

Dec 19, 2011

fft #2

i have to find the beauty in today. today is moving day and our movers are 3 1/2 hours late. We are "patiently" waiting for them to come and we still have a 14 hour drive ahead of us. The beauty ? We are going to warmer weather and be with familiy for the holidays!!!

Dec 18, 2011

the graduate

the graduate

the wife

the boys + the creepy guy in the background

the family
it was an eventful weekend with the husband graduating. we had family come up, two brothers show up as a surprise, a pizza party, and the graduation ceremony. now that the weekend is over, we are packing all day today to move in the morning. procrastination is the pits. can't we go back to the weekend?????? :)

Dec 16, 2011

my afghan

My mother-in-law made me a beautiful afghan that i had to share. Two reasons why it's the best..
1. made with love
2. it's purple :)
Plus, a hawaiian pillow case in remembrance of our trip there. I can't wait to move to our new place and have them displayed.

New chapter!

Family in town this weekend for a very special reason. My husband is graduating! Can I just say how proud i am of him? He really has worked so hard for this day and has worked and studied very hard. He is taking his LAST final right now! It started at 7am. What a way to end your last day of college and begin a new chapter in life!!!

Dec 14, 2011

new state

well, we finally found out where we are moving to. and it came as a bit of surprise. please someone tell me some good things about new mexico. i will stay positive because i know there is a lot more sunshine there than there is here. :)

Dec 13, 2011

christmas gift idea

                                                                                   you've seen the snuggie right? and the forever lazies....
well my husband and I have invented a new product that we're still in the process of getting patented ;) called the smooshie. If it's ready by christmas it will be the biggest hit for all couples.

Dec 12, 2011

Pretend like it's the weekend now

Jack Johnson. The best chill feel good music isn't it? Better Together was our wedding song.. and our song just in general. But another favorite is Banana Pancakes. Whenever I make pancakes I think of this song. And I did make pancakes over the weekend, they weren't banana but they were still good. We have a lot of oats to use up this week so these are my healthy oat pancakes. If you're feeling up to it put on some Jack Johnson and eat some pancakes.

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup low-fat cottage cheese
2 egg whites
Add some flavor, the recipe calls for vanilla protein powder
but i use cinnamon.

blend together and wa-la! cook over MEDIUM heat. The first time I made this i had it on too high and they will burn. It helps to put a skoshe of butter in the pan. :) Top with peanut butter and honey. I would have put raisins and sliced almonds but the hubby wasn't feeling adventurous.

FFT #1

Before I put in my two week notice, I always dreaded Mondays. I'm sure I'm not the only one who is over come with a sense of disappointment the weekend is over and another work week of early mornings or night shifts for 5 days until the fun can begin. I really need to change my way of thinking. Yes, it's easier now to take on Monday mornings since my only job at the moment is to pack up our 2 bedroom apartment, but still, this is something I need to carry on once I find another job where ever we end up.

Sometimes I'll run across a quote online and just think, wow... life is great isn't it??? Maybe all i need are motivational reminders on Mondays. Here's one to get me through this week. Food for thought (FFT) #1

Dec 10, 2011

Something about Thai

Date night Friday: Green canyon hot springs and then to Driggs, Idaho for Thai. Who knew a town of 1,100 would have something so yummy to offer.

Karin's Donation

Today I went and took Karin her donations that have been collected over the past weeks. With everyone's help and generosity we were able to raise $2,100. Thank you everyone for your support in helping her during this time.
I've been blessed to see the love and service everyone has  given to Karin and her family. Many people who did not even know them personally helped contribute to this cause. I'm grateful for the examples everyone has been during this holiday season. Thank you from Karin and myself and happy holidays. God bless you all.

Dec 9, 2011


i made granola last night and let's just say it was very successful! There's something about making home-made granola that's very satisfying. i was on the phone with my bff (karn) and she gave me some great pointers on how to make it turn out just right! so i dedicate this batch to her and name it
K-nola. :)


  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice ( i used cinnamon )
  • 3 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (didn't add)
  • 2/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries


  1. Preheat an oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Coat 2 baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, rolled oats, almonds, and pecans in a large bowl. Mix the applesauce, honey, and vanilla in a separate large bowl. Stir the oat mixture into the applesauce mixture, until granola begins to gather in clusters. Spoon granola evenly onto prepared baking sheets.
  3. Bake in preheated oven, stirring every 20 minutes, until lightly browned and crispy, about 1 hour.
  4. Remove from oven; cool to room temperature. Stir in raisins and cranberries; store in an airtight container.
* I changed the oven settings to 350 and stirred every 10 minuts for a total of 35 minutes. Recipe from

I was so excited to wake up this morning and have some granola before the hubby left for school. Look at me... i'm like a little school girl excited about granola. i LOVE k-nola. :)

Dec 8, 2011

Road trip!

Well. what better way to end this year and bring in the next than a road trip? i can't think of any. We wanted to go on a little trip to celebrate the hubs graduating but with going to see family for christmas and him starting his first REAL job... we had to improvise.

We're leaving from AZ and headed to the east coast, going through the south. This girl has some serious planning to do. I have to research all of our stops and the major sights to see along the way.
Did i mention i get extremely car sick. I've never taken anything for it, i usually  just sleep until we arrive at the destination so i might be cursing the trip after the first few hours.

My packing list?
1. Dramamine and Benadryl

That way i'll be looking something along the lines of this.... (you can't see the drool coming out.)

Dec 7, 2011


We are so much alike it ain't funny. My picture was from my nursing graduation. His, on our cruise to mexico. But then again we aren't that much alike and it's a good thing. Yesterday i was stressing out about packing up our place and making lists (i'm a list person) of what i need to finish up these next two weeks. That's when my hubby tells me, i need to teach you to relax a little more. yes ryan, you do. But it works out just right because i help him remember things he might have forgotten... and i'll remind him every day until he does it and he tells me not to worry about it and stop reminding him. Perfect balance.
Whoa. I just realized.
I'm just like my grandma. She lives with my parents and whenever i need them to do something, i always ask her to remind them to do it because that way i KNOW it will get done. Ha.
Anyway, after stressing out about moving, the hubby tells me to take the whole day to myself. Buy some phish food (ben&jerry's), watch a doris day movie, and lay in bed. And that my friends is exactly what i did yesterday and probably today too. and it feels sooo good.
sometimes, you just have to have a few days of doing absolutely NOTHING.  I'm so bad. ; )

Dec 6, 2011

new place and new face

believe it or not we've been married for a smidge over three years and we've lived in 5 different homes in 3 different states. I've geared our blog header to where we've been living but now, we hope this will be our final move in the next few weeks for awhile. so instead of changing my header all the time, i'm just sticking to something that will cover where ever we will go. :)
It's called the K.I.S.S. method. (keep it simple stupid)

we'll let you all know where our next move is.... we won't know until christmas. Knowing where we will be moving to is our christmas gift. :) YAY!

Dec 5, 2011

Winter wonderland

I don't know what it is about THIS particular holiday season, but I'm so excited it's December. We will be leaving Rexburg in a few weeks to embark on our next journey in life, and I'm going to make sure that these last few weeks are super duper special. Ryan is busy finishing school and running low on the motivational fuel. So, my duties as a wife need to step up a notch since I've finished my last shift at the hospital.

1. Decorate our "dungeon" basement apartment so it's warm and cozy and full of holiday spirit.- check
2. Bake cookies and holiday sweets. Our dungeon will smell good and my hubby's stomach happy. - to do
3. Play Christmas music. Listening to music will set the mood!- check

I finished my last day at work and to celebrate Ryan plnned a special get-away. We celebrate any chance we get. ha. We went to a bed and breakfast that was super cute and cozy. There are only 4 little cabins and we were the only guests which meant we had the whole place to ourselves. The owners took extra care of us because they had no one else to tend to. It was a great weekend to be in a cozy warm cabin while it snowed outside.
 We went out to dinner to Ririe which is the closest town. There is absolutely nothing in this town but we happened to find the one place to eat on a Saturday night in town. I have to say, sometimes those small places that no one knows about are the best places to eat. Chicken mango sandwich for me and cheeseburger for Ryan. We were really happy and full people.
and what's a bed and breakfast without breakfast photos?